Hugh McGahan is a former Kiwis player and current columnist for the New Zealand Herald

Hugh McGahan: Hoffman just one piece in recruitment puzzle

Ryan Hoffman brings a wealth of experience. Photo / Getty Images
Ryan Hoffman brings a wealth of experience. Photo / Getty Images

Don't judge the signing of Ryan Hoffman at the Warriors until you see the outcome of the recruitment plan for this year.

The majority of fans and critics comment on each new player and do so based on talent, age, playing history, injuries and current form.

That's a fair list of criteria to focus on and I have joined the queue in the past by judging the same way. But until we see the Warriors' full roster for 2015 and beyond, we can't gauge the balance of the squad.

Judging him on those key areas already mentioned, I see Hoffman as a good signing but you then must consider his valuable experience.

To live and breathe in a winning environment with such a heavy focus on work ethic is priceless and Hoffman has had that at the Melbourne Storm.

Hoffman was a major contributor to that environment at the Storm and will be critical to the same sort of culture coach Andrew McFadden is trying to build at the Warriors.

Every club has tried to emulate the Storm but not many have succeeded, and it all starts with the coach.

He alters the attitude of the players, which is critical for success. He then introduces a work ethic along with a couple of players to drive that ethic.

South Sydney had a long history of passion but passion is only a fuel to drive something else. Souths were missing something.

We have seen the results of what Michael Maguire is trying to do at the Rabbitohs and the impact of Greg Inglis. Until the loss of Wayne Bennett, the Broncos had that ethic and they are now rebuilding it.

My old joint, the Roosters, found it when Ricky Stuart came on board and consistency became the norm. They lost it when Ricky left and they didn't find it again until the return of Trent Robinson and the introduction of Sonny Bill Williams and his work ethic.

It's not until the Warriors announce their final roster for 2015 and beyond that you can truly critique the value of each player and then the balance as a team.

There will be new players and there will be some who move on. Who that may be, we don't know but a more realistic assessment of the team can then be made.

Despite my experience on recruitment and club rosters, I made the mistake of questioning the recruitment of Ruben Wiki and Steve Price. Well, I was made to eat my words, spit them out and eat them again because I didn't take the bigger picture into account.

When dissecting players and their age, look at the motor (their body) and what's driving it (their work ethic).

The Warriors have a long history of their current culture. One result of that culture is inconsistency.

Altering the work ethic of the players to one similar to the Storm's will result in eliminating that word from everyone's vocabulary. The coach is trying to change that and Hoffman's signing goes a long way to doing that.

- Herald on Sunday

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Hugh McGahan is a former Kiwis player and current columnist for the New Zealand Herald

Hugh Joseph McGahan MBE was a renowned rugby league player and coach who represented New Zealand in no less than 53 test matches, captaining 17 of them. Beginning his career in Auckland he later moved to Sydney where he played over 100 matches for the Roosters, finishing his career in 1991 as captain-coach of the eastern Sydney outfit. Accolades were never far away from the impressive Kiwi lock and in 1987 McGahan jointly won the prestigious Golden Boot Award, the first row forward at the time to win the award. Hugh McGahan’s international career was similarly impressive coming to the fore in 1982 after scoring a remarkable six tries for the Kiwis against Papua New Guinea in Auckland. Hugh Mcgahan ended his career with distinguished honours as he was awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to rugby and later inducted into the NZRL Legends of League. He continues to write sports columns for the New Zealand Herald.

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